Dear friends, this is the second letter I'm writing to you. In both letters I'm trying to refresh your memory.
I want you to remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and what the Lord and Savior commanded you through your apostles.
First, you must understand this: In the last days people who follow their own desires will appear. These disrespectful people will ridicule [God's promise]
by saying, "What's happened to his promise to return? Ever since our ancestors died, everything continues as it did from the beginning of the world."
They are deliberately ignoring one fact: Because of God's word, heaven and earth existed a long time ago. The earth [appeared] out of water and was kept alive by water.
Water also flooded and destroyed that world.
By God's word, the present heaven and earth are designated to be burned. They are being kept until the day ungodly people will be judged and destroyed.
Dear friends, don't ignore this fact: One day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.
The Lord isn't slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn't want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.
The day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day heaven will pass away with a roaring sound. Everything that makes up the universe will burn and be destroyed. The earth and everything that people have done on it will be exposed.
All these things will be destroyed in this way. So think of the kind of holy and godly lives you must live
as you look forward to the day of God and eagerly wait for it to come. When that day comes, heaven will be on fire and will be destroyed. Everything that makes up the universe will burn and melt.
But we look forward to what God has promised--a new heaven and a new earth--a place where everything that has God's approval lives.
Therefore, dear friends, with this to look forward to, make every effort to have him find you at peace, without [spiritual] stains or blemishes.
Think of our Lord's patience as an opportunity [for us] to be saved. This is what our dear brother Paul wrote to you about, using the wisdom God gave him.
He talks about this subject in all his letters. Some things in his letters are hard to understand. Ignorant people and people who aren't sure of what they believe distort what Paul says in his letters the same way they distort the rest of the Scriptures. These people will be destroyed.
Dear friends, you already know these things. So be on your guard not to be carried away by the deception of people who have no principles. Then you won't fall from your firm position.
But grow in the good will and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory belongs to him now and for that eternal day! Amen.